Thursday, July 06, 2023

#BookReview: The Fourth Piece by E. Ardell

Synopsis: Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war...

Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option. 

In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.

Book I in the Order's Last Play series


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: For my bookclub this book was a mess. It had no real plot and the characters were just kind of meh.  The ending was just that an ending.  We as a group do not recommend this one at all and we will not continue with the series. 


"Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence know that in 2022 admitting you have even a little bit of alien blood will label you an outcast faster than you can blink. When the three brothers share a psychic vision of their older brother - on another planet and going to die without help - their suspicions as to their heritage are suddenly confirmed, and with major consequences. Saving their brother isn't just a matter of alerting the authorities; instead, the four boys must face danger, both at home and in space as they fulfill an ancient prophecy that killed their ancestors. Unless they make the right choices they could destroy not only themselves but all the worlds as well.
An excellent sci-fi story, "The Fourth Piece" is the first book in the series, and it starts off with a bang. There is action galore mixed with plenty of social commentary, distinct characters, a complex world system, Ancient Gods of Order and Chaos playing with champions, some minor romance, and young men with powers they don't yet fully understand. Readers will find themselves sucked into the plot and rooting for each of the boys as they struggle to understand what is really happening in the world and what they each want to do about the problems around them.  This is a must read for any sci-fi lover!"--Sarah E. Bradley, 
InD'Tale Magazine.

"A young adult novel written by E. Ardell, The Fourth Piece is a tale that deals with warfare, space ambassadors and all things alien. It's the first book of the 'Order's Last Play' series. Combining humor, mystery and science, the writer spins an enthralling tale about four brothers with very different personalities and similar fate. This novel is a journey of self-discovery and mutual understanding. This moderately-paced novel is set in the near future which includes aliens, space wars and technological advancements. Using well placed conversations and detailed descriptions, the author manages to weave a credible story that doesn't overwhelm the reader.The story is narrated in present tense using first person narration, the point of view of each chapter alternating between one of the brothers. This method of storytelling contributes to the development of the plot since it provides an insight on the ideas, expectations and innermost thoughts of each character. The sharp contrasts between the characters are brought out well, resulting in excellent characterization. The Fourth Piece is an excellent novel that explores severed interpersonal bonds, alien politics, and everything in between. Simply put,this is one of the most enjoyable books I read in a long time. I rate this book4 out of 4 stars."--VinuW, 
Online Book Club.

"E.Ardell--a librarian quickly morphing into a rising author--pens a story that appeals to teens in her sci-fi debut. While much of her futuristic plot focuses on familial relationships--particularly between four brothers (Lawrence, Devon, Lyle, and Evan), Ardell emphasizes that some things just haven't change in the year 2022--in Houston, Texas and beyond. Although now replete with humans and Visitors (aliens), the world continues to have race relation problems, and this time with Vulattos--half-humans, half-aliens. Ardell's unique plot unfolds little by little as told through three concurrent first person narratives(Lawrence, Devon, and Lyle). Amid psychic weirdness, racial issues, and a Gothic-styled war, Ardell punctuates a little bit of everything expected in a teenager's world (i.e., sarcasm, comedy, and plenty of flirting that coincides with raging hormones). 
The Fourth Piece is the first in the Order's Last Play series. Throwing in a flurry of twists and turns along the way and closing on an interesting cliffhanger, Ardell sets the groundwork for book two, The Third Gambit. A one-of-a-kind story, The Fourth Piece is earmarked to become a favorite teen read."--Red City Reviews

About the Author

E. Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She's a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she's not working, she's reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure.   --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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